October 2002


From Reuters, via Drudge, scientists are finally figuring out how to finish off those long distance relationships once and for all…

Scientists in Britain and the United States will try to shake hands on Tuesday.

No big deal one might think — only they will be 5,000 km (3,000 miles) apart, using the Internet to connect them.

In a technological first, they will use pencil-like devices called phantoms to recreate the sense of touch across the Atlantic, organizers of the experiment said.

The phantoms send small impulses at very high frequencies down the Internet using newly developed fiber optic cables and extremely high bandwidths.

When a scientist in London prods a screen with the phantom, the sensation should be felt by a colleague in Boston, and vice versa.

The report concludes:

The implications of the experiment could be vast, said UCL, which describes the event as the world’s “first transatlantic handshake over the Internet.”

If successful, it could allow people to touch and feel each other over the Internet.

Dear god, NO.

“Man is the cruelest animal.” — Nietzche

“Man is the cruelest animal.” — Nietzche

In the interest of public safety, I’m turning the rest of this message over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Sniper Task Force. Your consideration and attention are appreciated.

The person who took your last call could not make out your entire shopping list. Please call us back as soon as possible; we do not want to obtain the wrong brand of cereal. We realize that your grocery needs are very important and we do not wish to cause any more death and destruction by not complying with your every wish as quickly as possible. We also hope that you will call us back. We respect your feelings, but we don’t think at this point in our relationship that it’s out of line to expect that you call us this time as we called you the previous three times. Also, please do not shoot anyone else. We can’t emphasize that enough, although we understand that you may be angry over our last delivery of Salem Ultra Light cigarettes instead of Marlboro Menthol Light as you requested in the note left at the Fredricksburg crime scene. Thank you, and please call us back. Please.

We at brokentoys.org (we being me) appreciate the difficult job the police are doing in appeasing deranged snipers. Thanks for your time.

“Data is not information, Information is not knowl

“Data is not information, Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not understanding, Understanding is not wisdom.” — Clifford Stoll and Gary Schubert

Proof that I have no shame (or dignity, or a stole that fits):


Here in Northern Virginia it’s all about The Sniper (or, as I like to call him, Snipey). Snipey didn’t pick a very good time to shoot random people – if he had done this, say, twenty years ago, we would have been horribly concerned and panic-stricken. Now, in these post-modern over-analyzed days, the only people who really care are Geraldo Rivera, who is convinced we’re all going to die because he gets stuck in traffic, and my wife, who is convinced I’m going to die because I get stuck in traffic (mainly because she watches Geraldo Rivera). Everyone else is ironically handicapping where the next shooting will be, or maybe whether he’s ex-military or a Counterstrike player gone to the ultimate pro circuit. No one really thinks they’re going to die, or at least they’re too cool to admit it. Meanwhile what few full-service gas stations still exist are doing a booming business.

I still have 3/4 of a tank. Not that you asked.

“No man’s knowledge can go beyond his experience.” — Locke

Inspired by Savant, he of the bald head and oddly familiar website layout, Lum’s House of Cheese is now on the air, narrowcasting to broad minds everywhere. Yes, now you can listen to the same horrible 80s dance covers and German teeny pop that I inflict on my coworkers! Expect it to continue until it stops. Remember, Lum’s House of Cheese: rated by Live365 as “similar to Gay San Francisco!” Good thing I’m secure.


Speaking of gay, Kingdom Hearts – so done with. In typical Squaresoft fashion, the ending made no sense whatsoever. On the plus side, I didn’t have to actually kill any angels, unlike every other Square game to date. So now I’m dorking around with equal parts Divine Divinity, Warcraft III, and the beta from work. Oh, and waiting for Hearts of Iron, the WW2 game from the people who did Europa Universalis. Because any game that actually has Kenttaetaeydennysprikaati as a playable unit has GOT to rock the house hard.


The world is becoming more ironically obvious. I just heard from CNN that the sniper currently terrorizing, um, HERE, “just doesn’t care”. I keep having visuals now of a militia type in camo and an SKS rifle waving his arms in the air like he just don’t care after a successful tag. I’ve found myself looking around before filling my gas tank. Unfortunately, I still do care, apparently.


We’ll close with a rare mail in my box about THIS site (as opposed to my day job):

Good God, Scott, it hurts to see you typing this stuff.

I mean sure, we’ve gotten over UO, and pretty much every MMOG, as none of them offer anything but a level treadmill… (if you’re still at Mythic, tune them in to this…’we don’t really want a level treadmill, and that’s pretty much all that’s on the market… break new ground and win’… (remember who told you this…and cut me in when you get rich)

But you used to write fire. You’re a witty guy, a smart guy.. I know, I’ve seen it.

Just because the old ‘community’ vaporized, doesn’t mean you need to pander to it’s remains.

You’re too smart to be posting this gook on a webpage with your name on it.

I haven’t written to you in about two years. You wouldn’t remember who I was anyhow. Or care, I hope.

Anyhow, I hope life is treating you better than this website suggests.

Funny thing is, life IS treating me pretty well, which is why this site happens to be so banal. Misery makes for better writing. I’ll try to endure some pain post-haste for your benefit, k?